Posts

Historical Architecture of Grosse Pointe – Rivard – Part 2

Regular readers to our blog will know we recently began to explore the street of Rivard – a prominent street in Grosse Pointe whose name is associated with one of the earliest French farming families to settle in the community – The Rivard’s.

Rivard is a particularly interesting road, given the clear transition in architectural styles – from the earlier clapboard colonial homes constructed around 1918 through to the English Tudor and brick homes built after 1922.

If you travel up the street from Jefferson, it is clear the homes on the first block are very different – in terms of design – than the homes that exist beyond the second block to Mack. However, the quality of the homes does not diminish, given the caliber of the architects who were commissioned to work on this street.

Having covered some of the homes constructed from 1918 – 1922, this week we turn our attention to a range of homes built between 1924 and 1928, which, as you will see, display a broad range of design styles.

Built in 1924, number 649 was designed by architect John Senese. The 2,598 sq ft home is a symmetrical Dutch Colonial home and features clapboard on the exterior of the second floor. Traditionally, clapboards in North America were made of split oak, pine or spruce.

Very little is known about John Senese, but he did a nice job with the design of this home during an era when the Dutch Colonial style was becoming increasingly popular in Grosse Pointe.

649 Rivard

Barton Wood designed a classic English Tudor, number 699, in 1926. Having grown up and studied architecture and engineering at Stanford University, Barton Dixon Wood transferred to the University of Michigan to conclude his studies, before partnering with Samuel F. Abraham to form the firm of Abraham & wood. He lived at 695 Rivard (built in 1930), however it is not clear if and when he moved into this home or whether he designed it. Barton Wood also designed 845 Edgemont Park in 1928.

699 Rivard

695 Rivard

Read more

Historical Architecture of Grosse Pointe – Rivard – Part 1

As with so many of the streets in Grosse Pointe, there is a rich, and checkered past. Many of the streets we have come to take for granted date back hundreds of years, and represent far more than just a street name.

Some of the older road names in Grosse Pointe are Rivard, Renaud, Vernier, Grand Marais, Provencal and Beaufait (to name but a few), which, you may have noticed, have a distinctly French theme to them.

During the eighteenth century the French occupied much of the farmland that was so important to the Grosse Pointe area. During this era it is believed the area was heavily wooded and swampy, however it proved to be a great area for farming. Many of the early farms generally had around 300 feet of water frontage, ran one – two miles inland, and were owned by some very familiar names (as mentioned above), that we now recognize.

One of the earliest French farmers to settle in the Grosse Pointe region was the Rivard Family. Having taken ownership of a ribbon farm in 1762 the Rivard’s were a prominent family in the community.

Shortly after moving to the area Jean Baptiste Rivard married a young woman of German descent and together they had 13 children. After the death of Jean Baptiste in 1805, two of his sons (Charles and Francois) managed the land, which was ultimately sold by Farncois’s son around 1852. According to research in the book Tonnanour – ‘The sale of the land coincided with the end of the French ribbon farm system. During this period, Wayne County began to divide into sections and the township of Grosse Pointe became independent in 1848’.

Today the Rivard name remains very prominent in the community and the street is home to many grand residences. Over the next couple of weeks we will be presenting some of these homes, starting with the earliest – constructed between 1918 and 1922.

Number 482 was completed in 1918, having been designed by the prominent firm of Stratton and Snyder. The 3,200 sq ft home is designed in a colonial architectural style with a clapboard exterior, and steeply pitched roof.

William Buck Stratton and Dalton J. V Snyder worked together between 1918-1925, and created several homes in Grosse Pointe including: 4 Woodland Place, 365 University Place, 341 Lakeland and 15366 Windmill Pointe.

482 Rivard

482 Rivard

Read more

Historical Architecture of Grosse Pointe – The Diverse work of Crombie and Stanton – 340 Lakeland

When Charles Crombie and Henry F. Stanton formed their Detroit based architectural firm in 1914, they created a firm with a very eclectic portfolio. Not only did they design one of the largest homes in Grosse Pointe City, they also claimed third place in a national competition for the design of a low-cost brick house with 4-6 rooms.

The award winning small brick home on Woodward Ave, Detroit, was contained within a rectangle measuring no more than 28 x 30 ft. and its success resulted with their work being featured in a book entitled ‘500 Small Houses of the Twenties’, which was published in 1923.

Small-House

Courtesy of books.google.com ‘500 Small Houses of the Twenties’

It is incredible to think that given their success with smaller homes, two years later, in 1925, they turned their attention to the other end of the scale designing the 9,500 sq ft residence at 340 Lakeland.

340 Lakeland

Built in 1925 on a large 1.14 Acre lot the stunning English manor house is a brick construction, with slate roof, and 3 stunning interlocking brick chimneys on the front elevation. The front of the 3-storey home also features a magnificent bay window and a wonderfully detailed front entrance with five rows of brick set within a step formation leading to the front door. The back of the property includes 5 big brick archways, creating an enclosed walkway. The level of craftsmanship of the brickwork on this home demonstrates a mastery of the skill.

P1000672 (1)

P1000680

P1000674

P1000673

The outstanding craftsmanship was ever present inside. The home contains 8 bedrooms, 5 of which feature a fireplace, with an additional 3 large fireplaces in the rooms on the first floor. The large windows result in huge amounts of light flooding each room, thus emphasizing the magnificent architectural detailing which included a dragon holding a compass in its talons on the textured ceiling in the living room. Additional carved features were also present in the crown molding, with the living room also home to the homes grandest fireplace – built from cut stone the fireplace runs from floor to ceiling, and features a beautiful herringbone pattern, made of brick, in the hearth.

Living-room_Trulia

Courtesy of Trulia.com

Read more

Welcome to 355 Lincoln, Grosse Pointe City.

Probably one of Grosse Pointes most beautiful homes, 355 Lincoln has a storied history and is looking for a hero to return it to its former glory.

-

The 8,733 sq ft English manor was built in 1913 and it is one of Grosse Pointe City’s largest and oldest homes. This is a rare gem with sunning woodwork, decorative carved limestone, plaster and multiple grand fireplaces. The house has many graceful rooms and features include a superb library with an 18’ barrel shaped ceiling with a choir loft leading to a balcony, and a ballroom sized living room.

-

The garden was one of the first in Michigan to be designed by nationally renowned landscape architect Ellen Shipman. Originally from New York Shipman was also responsible for the wonderful gardens at Rose Terrace, 99 Lothrop, and Lake Terrace.

Despite needing significant restoration and renovation, the next owner of 355 Lincoln will have the opportunity to save what is arguably one of the most beautiful and unique homes in the Grosse Pointe’s.

Please click here to view the complete range of photo’s of this extraordinary home.

 

This slideshow requires JavaScript.